State Easing of Public Safety Laws Emboldens Criminal Behavior

Killer of Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputy had Lengthy Record and Was Wanted by Federal Authorities

From the Office of Senator Jim Nielsen

According to authorities, Thomas Daniel Littlecloud fired multiple shots at officers who knocked on the front door and walls of a motel room in their search for a different parolee’s room. Littlecloud struck and injured two CHP officers before he attempted to exit through the back balcony. Using a high powered assault rifle, he shot Sacramento Sheriff Deputy Robert “Bob” French, who died on the way to the hospital.

“Convicted criminals like Thomas Littlecloud should not have been allowed out on our streets,” said former Chair of the Board of Parole Hearings Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama). “State laws, court decisions and initiatives have turned the criminal justice system inside out.”

Senator Nielsen added, “The lack of meaningful penalties has emboldened career criminals like Littlecloud. This individual has been apprehended with firearms on multiple occasions.”

Since the passage of Assembly Bill 109 and Propositions 36, 47 and 57, criminals like Littlecloud now face diminished to no consequences for their continued criminality.

Senator Nielsen and others have made many attempts to strengthen laws to protect police officers and the public.

The Democrat-controlled Legislature denied passage of his proposals to support public safety. Earlier this year, Senator Nielsen introduced Senate Bill 652 to change current law to require that felons with firearms would return to state prison if they had been previously convicted of a violent felony. Even this modest change was rejected in committee.

Unfortunately, the weakening of the state’s criminal justice system allowed for the release of convicted felons like cop-killer Littlecloud whose criminal record spans 14 years.

The San Francisco Chronicle laid out the “extensive criminal history” of Littlecloud’s life that included: Assault on officers and first responders; Drug possession; Robbery; Grand theft; Assault with stun gun; Battery on emergency personnel; Two counts of assault on peace officer or firefighter; Six counts of assault with or possession of firearms; Federal indictment on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, using a counterfeit credit card and identity theft.

“Littlecloud’s wide-ranging criminal behavior speaks for itself. Legislative acts, court decisions and initiatives facilitated this behavior,” Senator Nielsen added.

Senator Nielsen represents the Fourth Senate District, which includes the counties of Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba

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